An effort to restore one of the most valuable and storied wild trout streams in New England is under way, and volunteers are needed for the next step.
On Aug. 19, the Nutmeg Chapter of Trout Unlimited, working with the Town of Fairfield, will reshape the Mill River along Congress Street. Once a meandering stream, the waterway was straightened due to development. Using a technique known as conifer revetment, turns and pools will be restored to a river known as one of the best wild brook trout habitats in Connecticut.
Once a meandering stream, the waterway was straightened due to development, which reduces the health of the stream and the habitat for trout and other aquatic life. Using a technique known as a conifer revetment, turns and pools will be restored to a river known as one of the best wild brook trout streams in Connecticut.
Conifer revetments use discarded natural Christmas trees to shore up the banks, collect sediment and reroute the river. Volunteers anchor now-dead evergreens in the water along the banks. There they will trap sediment and build up the bank, extending land into the water and creating a curve in the river.
“This is a great opportunity for volunteers to get their hands dirty and see the direct impact of their efforts as we work to improve the quality of the Mill River as a wild trout stream,” Nutmeg TU President Rich Rosen said. “Already we have mitigated the Knotweed problem and planted native trees and shrubs to help bring the river back to its natural state. We look forward to seeing more, larger fish making their home along Congress Street.”
In the fall of 2017, the Nutmeg Chapter received a $670 grant from the Embrace A Stream program to support removal of invasive species and shoring up of the banks of the Mill River near the Easton-Fairfield border, along Congress Street in Fairfield.
A short time later, donors contributed another $1,860.69 toward the Mill River restoration in TU’s Embrace a Stream Challenge, which rewarded chapters with bonuses for reaching certain milestones and soliciting donations..
Money was also raised when Nutmeg TU collaborated with the Candlewood Valley and Mianus chapters on showings of the Fly Fishing Film Tour in 2017 and 2018.
Details on where to meet and how to volunteer will soon be posted, but save the date of Sunday, Aug. 19.
Field & Stream has listed the Mill River among “The 50 Best New Fishing Spots in America.” Click here to read the article.
Part of the stream, running from Easton through Fairfield to the Long Island Sound, was recently reclassified by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection as a Wild Trout Management Area, extending the prior WTMA to the Merritt Parkway. Single, free-swinging hooks are required.
Click here for more information on Connecticut’s Trout Management Plan.
Two teenagers from Easton, both fly anglers and members of the Nutmeg Chapter of Trout Unlimited, recently organized a cleanup of the Mill River.
Stephan Dow and Michael Waugh, with volunteers the recruited and led, removed some 360 pounds to trash from the river.
Click here to read a story from The Easton Courier.
Nutmeg TU thanks Stephan and Michael for their efforts.
New Connecticut fishing regulations went into effect Friday, requiring some anglers to purchase a Trout & Salmon Stamp, and extending the Mill River Wild Trout Management Area and making the Mill River Trout Management Area catch and release all year.
Fees from the Trout & Salmon Stamp will go to the DEEP to support fishing activities.
Highlights of the new regulations include:
TROUT & SALMON STAMP – A trout & salmon stamp is required for any angler 16 years of age and older fishing in a Trout Management Area (TMA), Wild Trout Management Area (WTMA), Trout Park, or Atlantic Salmon Broodstock Area; or keeping trout, Kokanee Salmon or broodstock Atlantic Salmon anywhere statewide (some exceptions for waters not stocked by DEEP that are stocked by another entity). The fees for the Trout & Salmon Stamp are $5 for resident anglers who are 18 and older, $3 for CT residents ages 16 or 17 and $5 for nonresident anglers age 16 and older. The trout & Salmon stamp is now available for purchase on the Online Sportsmen’s Licensing system. Click here to read answers to frequently asked questions about the Trout & Salmon Stamp.
MILL RIVER WTMA & MILL RIVER TMA (Easton-Fairfield) – The Mill River WTMA is extended downstream to the Merritt Parkway and the Mill River TMA is now catch-and release year round.
FARMINGTON RIVER TMA – A small portion of the West Branch Farmington River in the Riverton area from the intersection of Hogback Road and Route 20 in Hartland downstream to the gas pipeline crossing approximately four-tenths miles downstream of the confluence with the Still River in Barkhamsted will now be closed to all fishing from April First to 6:00 am on the second Saturday in April.
FISHING SEASONS – Alexander Lake is open to fishing year round. Baldwins Pond and Green Falls Reservoir are open to fishing from 6:00 am Opening Day through the last day of February.
CATFISH – There is now a creel limit of 6 Channel Catfish and White Catfish in aggregate per day, except in Beaver Park Lagoon, Birge Pond, Bunnells Pond, Center Springs Park Pond, Freshwater Pond, Keeney Park Pond, Lake Wintergreen, Lakewood Lake, Mirror Lake, Picketts Pond, Rowans Pond, Mohegan Park Pond and Stanley Quarter Pond where the creel limit is 3 catfish per day.
COMMON CARP – There is now a creel limit of 5 common carp per day, with no more than 1 fish greater than 30 inches in length, except in Trophy Carp Waters (see below).
TROPHY CARP WATERS – Batterson Park Pond, Connecticut River (including the portions of tributaries open year-round), Squantz Pond and West Thompson Reservoir are designated as Trophy Carp Waters with a one carp per day creel limit and a 26 inch maximum length for Common Carp.
METHODS – Tenkara fishing (a traditional Japanese method of fly-fishing without a reel) is now allowed in fly fishing areas.
ATLANTIC SALMON BROODSTOCK AREAS – The period when broodstock salmon gear restriction applies to all species in broodstock areas is now from September 1 to March 31 (inclusive).
TROUT PARKS – Pasture Pond at the Quinebaug Valley State Trout Hatchery, Plainfield, is now a designated Trout Park with a 2 trout per day creel limit.
Click here to read the new regulations.